An intelligence officer whose career is on the downfall gets a mission to befriend and recruit a man with ties to the Saudi Royal Family.
After waiting almost two years (with three delays) for “Black Widow,” there’s something poignant about its entire tone and the time of its release. With Scarlett Johansson leaving the MCU and the series moving on, “Black Widow” is a wonderful epilogue that fills in the holes about Natasha Romanoff once and for all. Natasha was always something of an enigma who we could never really make up our minds about, and the long overdue solo movie gives us the definitive look in to the life of a pretty noble heroine.
As a preamble I admit that I’ve never liked the “Kim Possible” animated series. I know as a Disney fan I’m supposed to love it, but I always found the series to be incredibly flat, bland, and boring. I didn’t really care for anything about it beyond Will Friedle who, at the time, was my favorite voice actor. That said, when “Kim Possible” was rebooted in to a TV movie series, I was surprised by how new and re-energized the reboot looked. Though “Kim Possible” is back, she’s returned for a whole new generation of fans that have embraced heroines fighting crime.
I can safely say that among the long running action franchises out there, “Mission Impossible” might just be my favorite. Not only has the series managed to re-invent itself time and time again, but Tom Cruise continues to impress and compel as series hero Ethan Hunt. He is a classic hero, a man who is bound to his work, or else the world literally falls apart at the seams. He’s a daring, bold, and clever force of nature, but he’s also one chained forever to the IMF, forced to confront not only terrorist threats, but the fall out of his past enemies that have come back to finally haunt him.
David Leitch’s adaptation of the graphic novel from Oni Press is something of an anomaly that I’ve had a difficult time wrapping my head around since I finished it. I’m not typically one who is easy on an action movie that’s so unnecessarily hard to follow, but “Atomic Blonde” kept me hooked, even when I was trying to keep up with it. Leitch’s direction, matched with the excellent editing, and just amazing martial arts scenes assured me I may just be watching “Atomic Blonde” again and again. The amalgam of a neo-noir and a gung ho martial arts spy thriller amounts to an occasionally awkward experience, but I embraced it in the end as this imperfect action film that sucked me in time and time again.
A beautiful but deadly MI6 agent is sent to Berlin in 1989, right at the time the wall is about to be taken down, so that she can navigate her way through the cities and the web of spies and double agents there to get her hands on a list of them with powerful information.
Yes, believe it or not, the “XXX” movies now have a mythology. And a back story. And supporting characters. Now that America has officially found the “Jason Bourne” series a bit worn, Vin Diesel makes his return with his clunky and ridiculous “XXX” movie series, reprising his role as the rebellious, bald, smart ass anti-hero Xander Cage. This is a break from playing the rebellious, bald, smart ass anti-hero Dominic Torreto, and the rebellious, bald, smart ass anti-hero Riddick, and–the rebellious, bald, smart ass anti-hero in “Babylon A.D.” After the unwatchable dumpster fire that was “XXX: State of the Union” the studio brings Diesel back to prop up a light reboot and sequel of “XXX” that also opens up a world for more movies of this ilk.
Combing the landscape of obscure cinema is tricky. It’s a journey that will often leave you with a lemon if you’re not careful. Author Doug Brunell’s reasoning for the “Sinful Cinema” book series makes a lot of sense as spotlighting certain movies that not many authors out there would be willing to spotlight is a neat idea. If you’re someone who wants to visit films that are completely out of the ordinary, author Doug Brunell seems intent on delivering spotlights for films you wouldn’t normally see discussed in most books about film. Sure, you can probably find summaries and brief essays about something like “The Abductors” in a review compilation, but author Brunell devotes an entire book to it. I’ve been a fan of Brunell’s since his days on Film Threat, so it’s fun to see him releasing a series of books for film lovers old and new.